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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

478                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Hellenistic semi-mythical religion, in which Greek paganism blends
with a primitive acceptance of Christian dogma. DerLaubmannund
die Rose. Em Jahreskreis (1947) probably derives from Brentano's
'Koman^en V&M Kosenkran^i nature is christianized with (often) com-
plicated and sometimes more or less obscene threads of relationship.
LUISE RINSKR (1911- ), an Upper Bavarian, was an elementary
teacher near Salzburg; she now lives in Munich. From 1944 to
the end of the war she was forbidden to write by the Nazis, im-
prisoned, and condemned to death; these experiences she describes
in Gefangnistagelwch (2:946). As a novelist she breaks with conven-
tion and ploughs her own furrow. In Die Starkeren (1948) we have
the collapse of the time-honoured middle-class and its displace-
ment by the new type of race-conscious German. This clash of the
old B/?rgr/#;// with its reverence for family life and the 'tween-wars
generation, for whom marriage is more or less a mirage, provides
the staple of Mitte des Lebws (1950), The novel is made up for the
most part of a diary kept by a professor of medicine at Munich,
Dr. Stein, and passed over to the heroine, Nina, after his demise.
The diary entries record the old professor's love for one who in
the first flush of her girlhood had been his pupil and is now a
writer of repute with two novels to her credit. She is twenty years
younger; the gap is, however, not so wide as that which yawned
between Ruskin at sixty-eight and the art student of twenty he fell
in love with. Ruskin> it is true, went mad when his correspondence
with the girl was broken off, whereas Stein is faithful and devoted
and quite sane till the day he dies, Nina yields to this male and
that, *aus Mi field* we are told; and this charitable readiness, we are
to understand, is a feature of the psychology of new woman in an
enlightened age. She has even married one of her promiscuous
males, though she bears a child of which her husband is not the
father. For once in a way she even sleeps with Professor Stein,
aus Mi field of course, but she still refuses to marry him. This more
than anything else is the burden of Luise Rinser's tales: she brings
it home that sex experience ia a woman radically good does not
tarnish; those who are morally despicable are the males - but only
sometimes, for as a rule they just obey the pressure of nature, and
are thus themselves innocent* There is really no ending, happy or
otherwise; since Nina has not finished her work - she is busy as a
writer - she has not finished living, and she faces whatever may be
in store - as we all do *ia the middle of our life*. Daniela (1952) is